Lowlife / Hotline
Added on September 22nd, 2020 (1832 views)

Tell us something about yourself (e.g. full name, age, place and/or date of birth, where you live, your current job and/or interests, etc).
My name is Angelo Bod, I am 49 years of age and was born near Eindhoven in the Netherlands in October 1970. I am currently working as Managing Director at a small VR outfit in Berlin together with some really cool friends whom I worked with for a number of years before. My interests include computers (no surprise there), games, movies, travelling, good food, and technology and gadgets in general.

What handle(s) did you use and how did you come up with it/them?
My handle on the scene is Lowlife. Sometime in the late 1980s, at a group barbecue, a swapper from my old Amiga group Infocorner thought it lame that I was still using my own name, so he said: "Since everyone calls you Lo," (short for Angelo), "just call yourself Lowlife". So that's how my handle was born.

What group(s) were you in? (Please include full names and the order in which you joined them)
I was in Sewer Software, Hotline (later Elite), System-Z, Infocorner, Axis, Elitendo (SNES) and The Black Lotus.

What roles have you fulfilled (e.g. swapper, coder, artist, musician, organiser, etc.)?
I was mostly focussed on pushing pixels on scene productions, but I also did other scene-related activities such as swapping large amount of disks and SyQuest drives and testing cracks and trainers before uploading them to a few BBSs. I also did some coding, but that was primarily tools for myself.

How long were you active for?
I was active on the scene mainly between 1985 and 1996, after that it was just a demo once in a while. My last contribution was on Chip Chop 16 by Desire.

Tell us about those years and how you got into the scene in the first place.
There were a lot of computer users where I grew up. There were weekly computer clubs to attend, where I met people who were already active on the scene or who wanted to get involved. This is also where I met Sledge of Hotline, who later became one of my best friends.

Describe a typical day for you in front of the computer (in the 1980s/1990s, that is).
There were many things that typified those days, but let me pick out a few that I have particularly fond memories of. I often got called out of my bed, as I had a second landline at my parents' place for when I wanted to test the latest trainer that one of our main crackers had just finished. I'd then be playing it into the night, testing it, before giving it the green light for release. Another one was getting home from school and immediately switching on my computer to pixel something I'd come up with during school hours; I would work on it late into the evening in order to finish, so I could share and show it to my friends the next day. Otherwise, I'd be checking our local BBS for new releases and downloading anything that was of interest.

Did you personally invent any special techniques or tools to make things easier for you?
While I didn't invent any new techniques for drawing, I did practise a lot, which I found makes you faster and lets you learn new tricks.

When you look at what you did back then, what are you most proud of?
I was most proud of the many contributions I made to our intros, and of motivating the team to deliver and get to the top of our game.

Who were your heroes on the scene and why?
I had great respect for the people on the early Amiga scene, because their productions were just so good (Jungle Command, Kefrens, RSI, The Silents, Rebels, Budbrain and many, many more), though I wouldn't say they were my heroes. The heroes were the likes of Rob Hubbard and Martin Galway, who did so much pioneering work on the C64. What I did like was that quite a lot of talented people tried to make a go of it in the video games industry.

What, for you, was the coolest thing ever invented on the C64? (e.g. a tool, routine, etc.)
I thought GEOS, when it came out, was ultra-cool, as was the Power Cartridge.

Did you go to any copy-parties, meetings or tradeshows?
Yes, that was part of the scene, and one I embraced. I attended many, many parties, as well as the weekly computer get-togethers. The Party in Denmark was probably the biggest one. The Computer Crossroad 1993 in Gothenburg and the Powerslaves Party in Venlo were also memorable.

In your opinion, what was the scene all about?
It was about friendship, creativity, competition and fun times.

What were the particular highlights for you? (e.g. favourite event, demo, etc.)
There have been many highlights over the years. I recall in particular the Bamiga Sector One party when Interpol turned up and busted some of the people there.

Are you still in contact with any old C64 people today?
Yes, mainly Sledge, Bambam, Jeroen Tel and some others.

When did you get your C64 and do you still have it lying around somewhere?
I got my C64 in 1985, and yes, I still have it in its box here.

Why was/is the C64 such a great machine?
Because of the potential for creativity, the marvellous SID chip, and of course because the scene is still so very much alive!

When can we expect to see some new C64 output from you? :)
Now that I see so many other salty dogs contributing a lot, my fingers are also getting itchy to start some efforts towards this end, but I need to create something first.

Do you have a message for your old contacts and/or anyone reading this?
Keep the scene alive! Keep the productions coming!

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